FOWA MIAMI: Aza Raskin Mozilla Ubiquity

picture-4In what could be one of my favorite moments of FOWA Miami 2009, Asa Raskin of Mozilla Labs presented Ubiquity to us.  First a little bit about  the Mozilla team.  Mozilla has 200 or so employees, and only 2 designers!  They have 1000 doing testing, doing things like localizing, they have 10,000 testing regular, and 100 million using the product.  1 person in the company to 1.2 million users.

Aza says he remembers reading a quote from one of his favorite books that said: Never have your warriors and scholars separate.  Same should be true for designers and coders.  If you do, you have the people who don’t know what the computers can do and how hard computers are.
Mozilla labs a shared space for democratizing massively scaled innovation.
You can get order out of chaos:  Chaordic (wikipedia, mozilla) means you push decision making to the nodes.  You work around columns, with very little centralization. He says if you give people ownership, and give them responsibility in teams, is like being chaordic.

Leverage is how firefox is able to grow.  So as designers we need to take advantage of leverage.  To design is to inspire.  Work in the open, not in an office.
40% of the code comes from outside the company, so should the design

Chaord causes disruptive innovation, order does not.
He asks: What is the wii-mote of the browser?  Meaning, what browser will make things incredibly simple for anyone to use.
5 directions in the next 5 years for the browser space and the web:

1.  Our interfaces treat people like objects and not like people.  This will change!

2.  Ambient + No Cost interfaces
If you make a selection of some text that you don’t understand, and you open a new tab, you will be able to translate it.  Make one click actions, so if you click an address, you might want to map it.

3.  Real and Continuous
The web is coming out and to our devices.  If the full experience on your computer could come to your phone it would be great.  This is Mozilla Weave, so the last tab you looked out on your PC is already on your phone waiting for you when you turn it on.  Your gps already knows where you want to go from what you entered in your pc etc.

4.  Tabs 2.0
Tabs suck for browsing.  Most people have 11 open.  You cannot view 2 at the same time.  You don’t have sets of things you can do at a time, you cannot save tabs.  In the next 5 years, there will be tabs 2.0.  As the web becomes more of an OS we will spend more time in tabs.

5.  Functionality without borders
The web is disconnected, and information is far apart.  If I wanted to email a restaurant location to a friend I cannot even add a map.  All I can do is just say meet me here, with no map, only a link to a map.

You should have whatever information you need at any time.  You are in mail, and you select map this, and insert this into email and it is done.  Select text on a web page in Japanese, and say translate this and it will translate it.  Anywhere you go you always have access to the functionality you need.  It is all about services.  This is the largest direction the web goes.  You can stand on the shoulders of giants and make awesome applications in a day.  What if you could make the functionality and bring it with you, taking it a step further.  You wouldn’t have to clutter up your screen.  FUNCTIONALITY WITHOUT BORDERS, you end up bringing things to you instead of having to go there.

We will move away from destination sites and people having to go places.  We will make the functionality come to us.

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